WRU Video: Dafydd Jones on his Wales call-up: Welsh version
He praised the new look Welsh squad for their unity and the sheer hard work which has helped them achieve success on the field.
Speaking at the squad's Cape Town training base he said: "Now that I have experienced the work ethic and the togetherness of the squad I fully understand how Wales achieved such success in the 2008 RBS Six Nations.
"When you are not in the squad you wish the boys all the best but a part of you always wants to be there. It drives you.
"I am delighted to be back in and to be selected for the first match. I'm grateful for my opportunity and really looking forward to it. All I can do is my best for the team and I am just thrilled to be starting on Saturday.
"Martyn Williams is a massive player so I know I have big boots to fill. I have played in the same side as Martyn more than 20 times and I've got nothing but respect for him. He's a great bloke and an awesome player.
"All I can do is my best and that is what I am concentrating on. Obviously we are different kinds of players but I am confident of my form.
"I've worked hard and, although things haven't gone my way on the pitch, I have always believed in myself. At times because of injuries I have felt frustrated but now I am comfortable with my game.
"I've played across the back row for club and country so I am very comfortable at number seven. I have played seven for the Scarlets this season and in the region we play left and right so I am totally familiar with it.
"Right now I am just feeling chuffed to bits. Over the last month we've all worked hard and it was always a case of each of us trying to get into the Test team.
"I'm grateful for my opportunity and I'm really looking forward to it. All I can do is my best for the team on Saturday."
He revealed how that delight is extra special given the injury woes he has suffered for some two years.
He said: "I never stopped believing in myself. I've got an awesome family and they have stuck by me through thick and thin.
"South Africa is a great place to come on tour with two big Test matches and it will be a great challenge for the boys and as a group we are really looking forward to it."
Head Coach Warren Gatland said he announced his team early to allow his team to settle and prepare for a full week before facing the world champions.
He said: "The players wanted to know so we decided to name the team early. It also means we have avoided a lot of speculation before any announcement."
Speaking to the Cape Times in South Africa the Springbok coach Peter de Villiers said: "They can run the ball with Stephen Jones at fly half.
"They are a very good team and have some great runners in their backline. Shane Williams and Mark Jones are tricky players and just look at their centres - those are big boys.
"They will enjoy the hard fields of the high veld and will attack us. They will use their big centres to try and get over the advantage line."